POS Foundation, which currently serves as the Secretariat of Ghana Human Rights NGOs Forum, organised a sensitisation workshop for media professionals on Ghana’s Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR), on Wednesday 6th September, 2017, in Accra.
The workshop was organized by KASA initiative Ghana, UPR Info Africa Office and the Office of the United Nations in Ghana, funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
The status of human rights in Ghana as part of the ongoing UPR, which tracks the progress of Ghana’s human rights obligations and commitments was discussed at the workshop. The UPR is a mechanism established by the UN to peer – preview, which examines the human rights records of each Member State every five years.
In 2012 and 2008, Ghana’s human rights record was reviewed at the Human Rights Council’s UPR, and by that report, Ghana received 150 recommendations from 63 States. Thus, the majority was accepted, and 25 noted out of the recommendations.
The workshop was purposed at training participants to efficiently report on the operations of the UPR mechanism. This therefore, is in preparations towards Ghana’s third cycle UPR Human Rights review by the UN human Rights Council in November at Geneva, Switzerland.
Executive Director of POS Foundation, Mr. Jonathan Osei Owusu, said, this has been the third review cycle for Ghana and that, the media and CSOs had been brought together to enable them understand the UPR processes to be able to follow the monitoring of the recommendations that would be made by the UPR Council.
According to him, it would enable the media and the CSOs to hold government accountable on the implementation and enforcement of the recommendations, and was quick to call on the government to consider the recommendations in order to address thevhuman rights challenges in the country.
The Technical Expert to KASA Initiative Ghana, Mr. Kwame Mensah of Care International, called on government to desist from going ahead with the setting up of a coal power plant in Cape Coast.
He explained that, the usage of coal in power generation, would contribute to the production of harmful gases into the environment, which would lead to global warming, diverting Ghana’s efforts to go by the Paris Agreement.
Mr. Gilbert O. Onyango, UPR Regional Representative for Africa, on his part, commended the country for providing an enabling environment for the CSOs community to operate in. “In the whole of Africa, Ghana has the freest and safest CSOs space,” he said.
He thereafter, urged all Ghanaians to focus on protecting the CSOs space, which to him, would go a long way to ensure freedom of expression.
He further commended the Ghanaian media, and said, they have a role to play in promoting human rights and also urged them media to actively participate in the UPR process.